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LeO 451 Bump Starter. L389, 1966


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I've hit a self inflicted wall on my other GB contributions by over complicating things a bit.

Is that cockpit right, what colour should that bit be, how hard could it be to add a Vac Formed canopy, might as well detail the inside then... The list goes on.

 

As an example, here's some of the reference photo's I've downloaded to help with my builds.  On top of that lot is a fair few books, magazines and profiles etc. that are out of shot.

Things are getting out of control here!

 

20201017-165008.jpg

 

I need something a bit simpler to break the log jam. No extra's, no getting bogged down with references or advanced modelers syndrome. Back to basics is needed here.

 

The kit chosen to do that is a SMER reissue of the 1966 LeO 451. Possibly not an ideal wham bam, thank you ma'm type of kit, but it's sat here and needs building. Game on!

 

Here's an original issue box from the sixties. Lovely stuff...

 

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And here's the SMER box and parts...

 

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Quite a bit of flash to deal with but nothing to get wound up by. An hour or so cleaning things up plus some assembly of the interior parts got me to here earlier today.

 

 

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And before you know it, a bit of spray primer has been added. Grey on the airframe and undercarriage parts, black on the props, spinners and tyres.

The upper wing parts have been glued in place as a trial fit of the whole assembly revealed some fit issues.  I've added the wing tops, getting the fuselage joint as flush as I can, once dry the rest of the wing will get fitted to the tops and any resulting fit issues can be dealt with on the undersides. That's the plan anyway.

 

 

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Things are drying off now and I'll be back on the case tomorrow.

A promising start to a Mojo Restorer, I'm looking forward to continuing in the morning.

 

Tony.

 

 

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Another LeO to enjoy!

 

I find myself bemused by the 🚹8️⃣➕ on the Smer box. Does this mean this kit is within the capabilities of your average eight year old? Or is it (nmore likely( an eight man job?

Edited by TonyOD
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Great plan Tony, I know how wanting to add detail, but not being sure about it, can put a brake on things. This should pick you up nicely!

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  • TonyW changed the title to LeO 451 Bump Starter. L389, 1966

This is reminding me of the Frog GB when we had lots of people building the Blackburn Shark, much like the Shark I would never have thought the LeO 451 would have been so popular, but once again it has turned into a wonderful surprise.

Good luck Tony

 

Cheers Pat

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The Mojo Restorer seems to be working out just fine. Things are progressing nicely. I've reverted to a period build as that's my comfort zone really.

 

Thinking back to the F4 Phantom build I did  in another GB, it all started going wrong on me when I debated adding etched metal and aftermarket seats. Once I went backwards to building it straight out the box, sixties style, it fell together in a very satisfying way.

 

I'm going to follow a possibly fanciful scheme shown in a June 1965 copy of Flying Review. It's close enough to the kits release date to be a valid bit of period reference. I'll also be using Humbrol enamels that fit the timescale as well. Humbrol Authentics in this case. I've dug through my old cans and matched the tins to the reference as close as I can. The colours may well be wrong but they are as right as I can get them compared with the artwork illustrations. That makes them period correct if not 2020 correct.

 

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Looking through the photo's I have here, and on the Internet, I can't find one that shows anything like the almost Harlequin scheme shown.

Back in '65 though, it was in a magazine and it was quite likely the only reference a UK modeller could find on the subject. After laying out quite a sum for the kit in the first place, it would be only natural for the modeller to want something distinctive for his build. That's all the reasoning I need to follow suit! It will be distinctive if nothing else.

 

The Humbrol Authentics first came out in 1967 so they fit the bill. The blue is from the Russian set and matches some current takes on the underside colour, the Stone from one of the RAF ones and the brown is a compromise railway colour, also period. The Authentics Chocolate was nothing like the brown in the illustration, the Pullman Umber colour matches perfectly.

I debated using one of the Blue/Greys from the Humbrol French set but the grey primer I've used is a pretty good match so I'll use that instead.

 

As far as actual construction goes, I've given the interior a coat of dark grey and paint detailed the seats and other parts. The great big 20mm cannon does not fit at all. The gun itself seems to be a product of Hellers imagination and there's no way it could be aimed, stowed or re-loaded as the kit provides. I've done a bit of compromise hacking about that will at least make the thing re-loadable if nothing else. The gun position now has a wooden floor as well. Almost certainly not correct, but I like the look. It takes the eye away from the fanciful cannon and via versa.

If I ever get to build the other LeO I have, I will address the cannon area and cockpit in a bit more detail. Meanwhile, this build is getting a bit of sixties TLC and seems to be liking it so far!

 

20201027-133410.jpg

 

The gun mount has been chopped off and remounted to bring the whole thing further back into the fuselage. I think a trough of some sort should be on the fuselage spine to take the barrel, but that will be something for another build.

 

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The Fuselage has also been closed up. A trial fit showed that the detailing I've done, such as it is, will be just about enough for the type of build I'm doing. 

 

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The fighter in the picture is yet another build that somehow just got started as well!

 

The forecast is rain tomorrow. If that's the case, I'll be putting in a bit of shed time.

 

Tony.

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4 hours ago, TonyW said:

20201026-121620.jpg

 

Looking through the photo's I have here, and on the Internet, I can't find one that shows anything like the almost Harlequin scheme shown.

Hmmm It doesn't seem correct that it would wear a Lozenge camouflage scheme. But it would make for an interesting conversation piece.  

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Good job on the 20mm. It looks cartoon-size large on the sprue, but it’s not very much longer than the length quoted in Wikipedia! The cockpits look suitably busy too - will you be using a Falcon canopy on this one?

 

The D.520 looks nice as well.

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

 

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1 hour ago, AdrianMF said:

Good job on the 20mm. It looks cartoon-size large on the sprue, but it’s not very much longer than the length quoted in Wikipedia! The cockpits look suitably busy too - will you be using a Falcon canopy on this one?

 

The D.520 looks nice as well.

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

 

Thanks Adrian,

 

As provided, the cannon sits high on the spine of the fuselage with the magazine out in the slipstream, way out of the gunners reach. It also pivots at the very end of the thing, it would never work in reality.

I've moved the pivot point nearer the magazine so at least the gunner can reach the magazine and the thing would balance a bit better as well as sit lower. It's not ideal, but it looks better. One of the French references I have suggest removing a chunk out of the body of the gun. I could still do that and it might help a bit more. Pictures seem to show a few different versions of the cannon in place. Clip and different drum magazines show up and serve to confuse somewhat.

 

The Falcon canopy looks lovely, crystal clear and quite an improvement on the kit parts. I probably won't use it on this build although I'll either use it on another build or maybe this one if the kit part fails to pass muster. The kit part fits fine, the framing looks a bit thick though. I'll paint it and try it out.

 

The D.250, along with the LeO both look like proper aircraft, sleek and speedy. I'm enjoying both.

 

Bit by bit things are coming together with my Heller builds. Compressing a lifetimes worth of modelling into a couple of months with a completely new subject is always going to be a bit of a Helter Skelter ride, but I bought the ticket and climbed the stairs and now the ride has well and truly begun. I'll land at some point, dazed and dizzy but hopefully with an armload of built models and a better understanding of at least some aspects of our nearest continental .neighbor.

 

Onward and Upward.

 

Tony.

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A tiny bit of progress to report.

 

Fuselage joint sanded smooth and tail fitted. That's it. 

 

I did say a tiny bit of progress ..🔬.

 

20201029-153859.jpg

 

Tony.

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On 10/29/2020 at 7:15 AM, TonyW said:

The Falcon canopy looks lovely, crystal clear and quite an improvement on the kit parts. I probably won't use it on this build although I'll either use it on another build or maybe this one if the kit part fails to pass muster. The kit part fits fine, the framing looks a bit thick though. I'll paint it and try it out.

 

I didn't know there was one - now on order! :)

 

Martin

 

 

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The attractive shape of the Leo becomes visible. I love the tail with its dihedral. Carry on - I'd like to see how it will look when finished...

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The LeO went a couple of rounds with me this afternoon. No submissions or knockouts but I did manage to wrestle the lower wings into place. 

 

The SMER plastic is as soft as butter and all the wing parts have a bit of warp going on. There's also all kinds of fragile bits and pieces hanging off the plane that Heller would have you install before the wings go together. The chances of the undercarriage surviving wing construction are pretty slim. By leaving the top retainers off the undercarriage main legs, the legs can be fitted later. The trailing legs will bend enough for them to fit into their retaining holes as well. That's the route I'm taking.

 

First thing this morning I lined up the leading edge and the circular intakes next to the cowl area and clamped and glued things together and let things set. Everything else was out of whack at this point.

 

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Just before I quit for the day I clamped and glued the trailing edges and the top mounted flaps(!) into position. There's a fair few clamps involved here and things are as close to fitting as I can get it. The overall fit is pretty poor. The lower trailing edge on the starboard wing fit badly. I'll have to either trim the lower or fill the top wing to get things in order.

 

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Once that lots has set hard I'll clamp and glue the front wing root area and with a bit of luck I'll not be needing too much in the way of filling etc. Yeah, right!

 

It's a plane now, rather than parts, and things are moving steadily forwards. Hopefully the weekend will see more progress.

 

Tony.

 

 

 

 

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There’s some inspirational work there, Tony. :) I’m clearly watching your work closely ;). Keep up the good work!

 

Martin

 

 

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On 28/10/2020 at 20:28, TonyW said:

it all started going wrong on me when I debated adding etched metal and aftermarket seats. Once I went backwards to building it straight out the box, sixties style, it fell together in a very satisfying way.

You're not wrong there...... Pain in the neck, that stuff!. 

I'm not sure these guys test their products in the real world. 

You're on the right track with this'un, Tony. 

Authentic Enamels.... Come on ‼️😎

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  • 2 weeks later...

As if stripping the paint job right off my Amiot build wasn't enough, the LeO has decided to play up as well.

 

The admittedly oddball camouflage I was going for has turned out to be a bridge too far. Even my flexible attitude to accuracy couldn't get along with the scheme once I tried it on a wing.

 

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It follows the magazine scheme reasonably closely colour wise. The pattern is a bit off but that's OK with me. The overall effect is a disaster though. More suitable for a Parisian bus seat than a bomber.

Oh well, I gave it a go.

 

A quick rub down with turps soaked tissue got the experiment gone. I'll be having a think about the next version. I suspect it will involve an airbrush.

 

20201114-124612.jpg

 

Tony.

 

 

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Back on track again!

 

The new scheme is going to be the centrefold one from a period Profile magazine. Everyone loves a centrefold.

 

It took a bit of mixing, but I've ended up with a tin of sand colour that closely matches the profile colour. A quick undercoat of the sand, to kill the grey primer, went on this afternoon and I should have more to report soon.

 

 20201117_154019.jpg

 

 

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Great stuff Tony

 

This LeO has had more makeovers than a lot of Hollywood actors !

Look forward to seeing its latest reincarnation. 

 

Cheers Pat 

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The LeO got another thin undercoat today and it looks like a bit of filler is needed here and there.

There's a few others in line before I get stuck in properly here, but the arrival today of a Black Box version of the kit means a picture gets taken to celebrate.

 

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More later.

 

Tony.

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